Bengaluru Tech Summit to establish Karnataka as a thought leader in emerging technologies: Priyank Kharge  


A month ahead of the tech carnival that will showcase just why Bengaluru one is the world’s foremost innovation destinations, Priyank Kharge invites the rest of the country to collaborate with them to seize the opportunity and put India on the world map.

Earlier this year, Bengaluru was ranked the most dynamic city in the world, according to rankings released by real estate consultancy firm James Lang Laselle (JLL) at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This was based on 42 indicators that included socio-economic factors, GDP, air quality, FDI, real estate momentum, investments, strides in technology, access to education, environmental policies, etc.

In this regard, the Bengaluru Tech Summit to be held in the city next month is a much-awaited two-day event which is all set to showcase Bengaluru’s prowess in technology, according to Karnataka’s Minister of IT and BT, Priyank Kharge.

“When we started the IT policy, Bengaluru was only the benchmark for services. But now, we want to be thought leaders in emerging technologies. We realised that if we do not pull up our socks and reinvent, we will fail,” Priyank said, at the roadshow in Mumbai ahead of the event. Part of this reinvention is to acknowledge the convergence of IT and biotech, among other things, as the applications of IT increase, and thus, combine two of Bengaluru’s flagship events—the and Bengaluru India Bio 2017, into one grand Tech Summit.

Priyank said that he was not in Mumbai to seek investments, but to build relationships. “We aren’t just trying to be an investment destination, we want to work on the ecosystem first – if we create an environment for ideation and innovation, inventions will happen and investments will follow. I am here to look at you as potential partners, seeking your help and guidance. There is something we can learn from you, and something we can teach you,” he said.

From our archives: The inauguration of Bengaluru ITE Biz 2016

What can one look forward to at the summit?

1. The IT Leaders Conclave

The Leaders Conclave will be a power-packed evening where industry captains from the ICT Industry, as well as policymakers, will provide attendees an insight into what’s new today, and what lies in the near future.

You can register for this closed-door invite-only event if you want to meet and interact with leaders in the industry, get insights on future business, technology, innovation, and opportunities. “We have some of the most progressive policy interventions in the country, that let entrepreneurs harmonise, share, collaborate and network amongst various stakeholders, I believe that by doing so, by listening to them, we have become the leaders,” says Priyank.

2. Bengaluru Tech Exchange

Bengaluru Tech Exchange (BTE) is a platform aimed at connecting innovations and research ideas which can be commercialised to the right startup or investor community, right from the agri to aerospace sectors. “The state of Karnataka, and Bengaluru in particular, have been reinventing themselves phenomenally to match the global standards – and since Bengaluru has matured from being a services industry to an R&D hub – and by extension – an innovation hub - technology has infiltrated every space, right from aerospace to healthcare tobanking,” says Priyank, on their decision to rebrand Bangalore as the innovation hub for all emerging technologies.

3. Start-up Karnataka YESSS

Short for Young Entrepreneurs Start-Ups in Soaring Spirit, YESSS is a forum for startups with business ideas that are looking for partnership, collaboration, investment and mentoring. “Karnataka is second largest tech cluster in the world – close to 7000 startups are registered in Bengaluru alone. More than 4000 startups are registered with the government of Karnataka. Ninety-five percent fail – so how do we ensure that that number reduces to 90 or even 85? We give them mentors, networking opportunities, cross border entrepreneurship, funding etc.,” he added.

4. Maker Faire

Maker Faire, a global gala, is a showcase for anyone who is embracing the DIY or do-it-yourself (or do-it-together!) spirit and wants to rub shoulders with other makers. It is a place where technologists, hobbyists, tinkerers, artisans, craftspeople, entrepreneurs and the merely curious can gather together to celebrate, inspire, and get inspired! “If anyone has missed the bus, we are the follow-up bus they can hop on to - anyone from garage specialists to entrepreneurs,” says Pavan Kumar of Workbench Projects that will be hosting the Maker Faire with the support of IT, BT Ministry, Karnataka.

5. The Rural IT Quiz

The quiz that has earned an entry in the Limca Book of Records as the first IT Quiz for Rural Students in India, has helped enhance IT awareness amongst Students at the grassroots level for a decade now. Since 2010, the programme has moved beyond Karnataka and today has a national footprint covering the of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan to help students in smaller towns and districts of these states understand technology better. The National Finals of the Rural IT Quiz will be conducted concurrent to the event.

Delegate registrations for the Bengaluru Tech Summit are now open. Sign up here.

Besides these initiatives, the Startup Cell Programme, and the Knowledge Partnerships instated for the Centres of Excellence that inculcate industry-based skill development programmes to make graduates and drop outs more employable, are all initiatives that are being encouraged to achieve Priyank Kharge’s goal of putting Bangalore on the world map when it comes to technology.

“There is a lot of shortage in skills world over – Karnataka is trying to see how to make our graduates as well as dropouts more employable in emerging technologies. Very soon, funds for aerospace and space, AI, Machine Learning and Big Data, animation, gaming, cyber security are all being driven not just by government but by our partners like Nvidia, IBM, Intel, who might be competitors but, with respect to the progress of the state and the nation, work together,” he said. The minister concluded by saying: “I believe in the adage - 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to far, go together.'”